GN: Mormons believe modern-day prophecies provide continuing revelations from God. Who has the authority to say what can and cannot be Scripture?
PP: A cursory reading of the longest chapter of the Bible, Psalm 119, talks about Scripture’s completeness, sufficiency and perfection.
However, there was a test for something to become Scripture. The word canon means “standard.” It had to be written by one of the first apostles or someone associated with the apostles (Luke, for instance). It also had to be recognized by the entire church, which it was through a number of councils. In most cases they simply ratified what was already generally accepted as Scripture. Author F.F. Bruce’s work in The Canon of Scripture is probably the most accurate explanation of canonization.
Peter taught that Paul’s writings were Scripture: “This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him … Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction” (2 Peter 3:15b-16).
Hebrews 1:1-2a states, “Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, He has spoken to us through His Son.”
When it says “He has spoken,” it’s emphatic in the original language that there isn’t anything else to add to the gospel other than what has already been said. The original grammar suggests there would be no further revelation of Jesus coming other than which was already given.
It’s not that God doesn’t speak to us today, but He isn’t revealing more about Jesus than what has been revealed. It was revealed that Jesus was God. It never mentioned He had three wives (like Mormonism claims).
If Paul’s writings are Scripture, then Joseph Smith’s writings cannot be because they grossly contradict one another.
GN: What is the explanation behind a Mormon man becoming a god of his own planet?
PP: A common phrase in Mormonism is: “As man is, God once was; as God is, man can become.” The idea is that the God of Mormonism is not the eternally existent creator of all. Instead, He was a man on another planet, but became the God of this planet because of His sinless life.
That is a very different than the God of the Bible. Isaiah 44:6b says, “I am the First and the Last; there is no other God,” and in Isaiah 45:5-6, “I am the Lord; there is no other God … all the world from east to west will know there is no other God. I am the Lord, and there is no other.”
LDS reference the following verse to show there are many gods: “For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords” (1Corinthians 8:5).
Sadly, they do not read the rest of the chapter that holds those other gods are demons. I shared this with two Mormon elders at a Denny’s once and they were astounded at what the rest of the chapter taught.